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n2wdw

TR: Seabourn 11-Day Mediterranean Islands Odyssey (May 2019)

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Observation Bar, the Main Restaurant and the evening show

 

Last night was the only formal night of the cruise.  Probably about 10-15% of the men were wearing tuxedos.  So I would not have felt out of place wearing one, but I'm glad I decided just to wear a jacket and tie as it takes less space to pack.  I think most people were dressed formally, although there were a few in casual wear.

 

We started the night in the Observation Bar.  The appetizer buffet looked good (especially the shrimp), but since we were about to go to dinner we didn't eat anything there. 

 

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I liked the "celebrity cocktails" list.  Not as extensive as Crystal's Manhattans and Martinis lists, but still interesting. 

 

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I ordered the Vesper.  For James Bond fans, Crystal's version of the Vesper is more authentic than Seabourn.  If it ever comes up in a trivia question, a Vesper (according to Bond) is 3 measures of Gordon's gin, 1 measure of Vodka (Bond didn't indicate a label) and a half measure of Lillet.  Crystal makes it exactly according to this recipe.  Here's Seabourn's:

 

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So you can see that Seabourn doesn't follow Bond's recipe.  Also, for real Bond geeks, Seabourn makes another mistake.  They list Lillet as vermouth.  But Bond makes a point of saying that Lillet is not vermouth.  Seabourn's martini is good; is just not a Vesper.  (I would not be surprised if I'm the only person on this ship who cares about this.)

 

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Last night, we dined in the main restaurant for the first time, as the first night we were at TK Grill.  Here are the menus.

 

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You'll see that "Ossetra Malossol Caviar" was on the menu.  We asked our waiter if this was the same caviar as they served at other places on the ship.  He said it was.  So that sent me on a quick search on the Internet, to see how much it costs.  D'Artagnan has a small tin on sale for $100.  So according to this, I'm pretty sure my wife and I have had at least $500 worth of caviar so far.

 

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In fact, last night, our waiter served us the normal caviar app, plus extra caviar!  I'm not sure why.  We didn't ask for it.  But we mentioned to the waiter that we were enjoying the caviar, so I guess based on that he served the extra caviar.  Here's what he brought both myself and my wife:

 

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So far, we are very pleased and impressed with Seabourn's service.  This is just one example.

 

We also enjoyed dinner last night.  In addition to the caviar, my wife and I each ordered the foie gras with a glass of sauternes.  The foie gras was perfectly cooked and delicious.  It's also interesting to note that the sauternes is complimentary, but not on the list they show you. 

 

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For my entree, I ordered the Beef Wellington.  I thought it was very good.  My wife ordered the lobster tail.  The taste was good, but she thought is was a little dry.

 

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Last night, we went to see the show, That's Life.  A couple of observations.  First, there's only 1 showing, at 945pm.  That's kind of late for us.  I think that's one of the tradeoffs on being on a smaller ship (unlike Crystal, for example).  You don't have as many entertainment options (for example, this ship doesn't have a movie theater).  But now that Crystal is moving to open seating, I wonder if they will scale back to one showing a night?

 

Second, I thought the Seabourn's singers and dancers in the show were better than those on our last Crystal cruise back in September 2018.  That's just my opinion, I'm sure others will think the opposite.

 

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21 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

 

The Colonnade offerings are huge, compared with the Crystal embarkation lunch ...

 

 

I agree that Seabourn's embarkation lunch buffet had a lot of selections (and you could order things too).  I think on Crystal they also offer a lunch buffet on embarkation on the pool level, in addition to the sit down lunch in the main dining room.  We ended up eating at the main dining room, and here's my lunch from a year ago.

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Day 7 - Palma de Mallorca (day 3 of cruise)

 

Today our excursion was a hike from Deia to Soller.  The hike was only 4.5 miles, but at places it was a challenge, with steep upward climbs and long down paths with loose stones.  The Seabourn literature said the hike was "strenuous" and we didn't pay much attention to that.  But they were accurate, the hike was strenuous.  My wife and I are in good health and relatively good shape, so it was fine for us.  But I'll certainly pay more attention in the future when Seabourn says something is "strenuous" (or similar words).

 

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Many great sights along the way.

 

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At about the midpoint we stopped at a place for delicious orange juice, quiche and tarts

 

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Once back in the room, we had our first bad Seabourn experience.  My wife called room service for a light snack and some drinks.  They never came or called back.  It was like the person didn't take down our request.  It wasn't a big deal, but kind of disappointing.

 

Before dinner we went to the Observation bar for drinks.  I also took better pictures of the buffet.  Again it looked delicious but we didn't have anything as we were going to dinner directly after.

 

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Here is the menu from the main Restaurant.

 

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Our friends ordered a wonderful burgundy.  It really opened up in the glass.  We brought one of our wines, an Overture.  Overture is the second wine of Opus One.  We bought it during our first real trip to Napa in 2002.  It was the last bottle we had.  I was afraid it might be corked.  But again Seabourn showed great service.  The cork was fragile, so two sommeliers worked on it to get it out without crumbling.  And then they decanted it.  Luckily it wasn't corked. 

 

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We got the white sturgeon caviar appetizer.  The presentation was different.  It looked like all caviar.  But the waiter said to eat it from the bottom.  And then you saw why.  It was delicious.

 

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Tonight the menu was supplemented by the Thomas Keller inspirations (which I guess they offer every other night).  The waiter recommended the twice baked boursin cheese souffle.  I was glad I ordered it, it was delicious.  My wife ordered the tomato soup, which she was was very good too.

 

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My wife and I both ordered from the classics menu for our entrees.  She got the Fettuccine Pasta (lobster bolognese and lobster foam).  It comes as an appetizer.  The waiter offered to make it an entree size, but she wanted just the app portion.  She enjoyed the pasta, but the description was probably better than the actual dish.  (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture.)

 

I ordered the New York steak.  It was okay.  Tasty but a little tough. 

 

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Edited by n2wdw

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Day 8 - Mahon (day 4 of cruise)

 

Today our excursion was a walking and tapas tour of Mahon.  Mahon is a town on the island of Menorca, Spain.  We ended up having to leave the tour early, which I'll tell you about later.  Here are some pictures of Mahon, that I took before we left the tour.

 

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Looks like you are having a very good time. The food looks fabulous, especially the caviar. Two questions: are the shore excursions included? What about the food on the tour, specifically the hiking tour where you had the orange juice, quiche, and tarts?

 

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1 hour ago, Kittykat52 said:

Looks like you are having a very good time. The food looks fabulous, especially the caviar. Two questions: are the shore excursions included? What about the food on the tour, specifically the hiking tour where you had the orange juice, quiche, and tarts?

 

 

No, the excursions are extra.  But the food is included in the excursion price.

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:23 AM, n2wdw said:

i

 

You'll see that "Ossetra Malossol Caviar" was on the menu.  We asked our waiter if this was the same caviar as they served at other places on the ship.  He said it was.  So that sent me on a quick search on the Internet, to see how much it costs.  D'Artagnan has a small tin on sale for $100.  So according to this, I'm pretty sure my wife and I have had at least $500 worth of caviar so far.

 

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Can you tell us what D'Artagnan has to do with the caviar served aboard your ship?

On 5/3/2019 at 6:23 AM, n2wdw said:

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, saminina said:

Can you tell us what D'Artagnan has to do with the caviar served aboard your ship?

 

 

It’s a place on the internet where you can buy the caviar they serve on the ship.

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Referencing the Ossetra caviar, I also went on line to D’Artagnan. The caviar was on sale for 99.99; however, shipping cost was outrageous,  around $25.00 and it was not even expedited. So, I went to Amazon Prime and bought the same caviar from a different distributor for 105.00  with free over night shipping since I am a Prime member.

 

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13 hours ago, Kittykat52 said:

Referencing the Ossetra caviar, I also went on line to D’Artagnan. The caviar was on sale for 99.99; however, shipping cost was outrageous,  around $25.00 and it was not even expedited. So, I went to Amazon Prime and bought the same caviar from a different distributor for 105.00  with free over night shipping since I am a Prime member.

 

 

That’s good to know.  We probably will be buying some too as we’re enjoying the caviar here.  Later today I’ll write about the sail away caviar party they had last night.

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Updated Report on WIFI

 

In a previous post I criticized the WIFI.  I have to take that back as it was stupid user error on my part.  To get in the WIFI you have to log in, which gets you into all the free areas.  But then you also have to click in to get access to the Internet, and that’s when your package kicks in.  

 

The WIFI is okay for browsing - I’ll know better when I try to post pictures (before this I was using cellular).

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6 minutes ago, n2wdw said:

Updated Report on WIFI

 

In a previous post I criticized the WIFI.  I have to take that back as it was stupid user error on my part.  To get in the WIFI you have to log in, which gets you into all the free areas.  But then you also have to click in to get access to the Internet, and that’s when your package kicks in.  

 

The WIFI is okay for browsing - I’ll know better when I try to post pictures (before this I was using cellular).

 

Did you inquire about Seabourns Referral Coupon of $400 OBC as a first time cruiser with Seabourn before you sailed?

This helps with things like internet charges. The Referral Coupon only works if you have not any other OBC credit from Seabourn

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On 5/3/2019 at 6:23 AM, n2wdw said:

Also, for real Bond geeks, Seabourn makes another mistake.  They list Lillet as vermouth.  But Bond makes a point of saying that Lillet is not vermouth.  Seabourn's martini is good; is just not a Vesper.

I'm not that much of a Bond geek or a cocktail geek, but I regularly geek out about the Vesper. The Kina Lillet in the Vesper has a bit of quinine in it, which current Lillet Blanc doesn't have. So if you just use Lillet Blanc you're missing the quinine flavor, which in times past was a desirable flavor. The gin and vodka should also be strong, because due to the needs it was invented to meet, the Vesper has to be strong. When one of the new-run Bond movies was shown at a very nice cinema, they presented a version of the Vesper and that got me interested in this. 

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A quick update.  We've had a death in the family so we have to leave the ship early. 

 

My wife and I talked about it, and we've decided that I will finish this trip report.  But I'll finish it up after we're home.

 

For now, I'll just say that Seabourn has been credibly understanding and helpful.  For the entire cruise, including this, the service by Seabourn has been top notch.

Edited by n2wdw

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We send our condolences.

 

We have been following and enjoying your posts.  When the time is appropriate, hopefully you will cruise on Seabourn again.  If we are lucky, we might meet you then.

 

Ann & Peter

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We are so sorry. Our condolences to you and your wife. It has been a pleasure following your posts.

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Sorry to hear this.  

 

I've loved your pictures.  Hope you have a smooth journey home. 

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So sorry to hear your very sad news. Wishing you safe travels back home. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your impressions - great writing and pictures!

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n2wdw so sorry to hear your sad news. Thank you for your enthusiastic post, your joi de vie shows and your love of food. We hope in better times you will enjoy Seabourn Cruising again. Our thoughts go with you during this sad time.

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So sorry to hear of your bad nrws.  I was very much enjoying your post.

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As others have said, you have done wonderfully well with your posts about your cruise, I have really enjoyed them. Sorry to hear about your loss.  

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So sorry to read your update. I too had been enjoying your photos and reading your thoughts. Sending my condolences.

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Sending condolences for the death in your family. 

 

Your reporting from your voyage was quite wonderful.  Sending you all good wishes at a sad time. 

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